AI-based Identification of Location from Photos

This guy has a popular Instagram account dedicated to determining precise locations based on random photographs of people. I only came across him the other day from a video of him finding the location of a tree in this meme image (I don’t know how searching for conservation areas with goldenrods in them around Chicago was helpful haha) but it seems like his process requires extensive knowledge into niche details like “what shape are telephone poles in this province in that country”. I’m guessing he gained that from playing a crazy amount of GeoGuessr… Anyway that is a very peculiar skillset for a person, but given that a person can do it and it seems like a fairly formulaic process, an AI can probably be trained to do it decently well.


That advice has been true for a long time. AI isn’t needed to find the location of photos that show background details. OS Int (open-source intelligence) practitioners like myself have been exploiting online and other photos for a long time. While legitimate OS Int practitioners generally investigate things like alleged war crimes the same principles can be used for nefarious purposes. If you have reason to fear a stalker or a vengeful ex. you should not be posting anything on iNat (or anywhere else on the net) that can be connected to you.


The few episodes I saw of the “Lost in Space” remake were really jarring. Clearly in a Pacific Northwest forest, but with random tropical plants inserted.


In 2004, back when I was living on Oahu, I drove to the north shore with a friend and we started seeing parts of an airplane strewn all over the place, which was truly alarming. Hadn’t heard that they were filming a new show called “Lost” there at that time…


In the « Versailles » series, the action is supposed to take place during the reign of Louis XIV (1643-1715), but Cedrus libani (Lebanon Cedar) can be seen, while the first specimen was introduced in France in 1734 by Jussieu.


Or iNatGuessr!


How exactly? Are we talking name of the water body? Name of the beach? GPS coordinates within X range of accuracy?

I confirmed today that, if you affiliate with the Australian iNat node, then yes indeed the true coordinates of your manually obscured records are stored in the ALA database. However, these coordinates do not get shared with anyone. Researchers requesting true locations will only receive coordinates for records within automatically obscured taxa


This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

I saw this yesterday on twitter, someone has made an AI that gets locations from photos, although it’s not as good as people yet for most photos:

1 Like